Taking Note of a Few Things: Episode 4: Super Thoughts

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Bruce Willis is one of my favorite actors. He has been since his days on Moonlighting. He is kind of my generation’s version of John Wayne: perpetual tough guy with a soft heart who beats the bad guys. Unfortunately, in the last five or six years, he has made a lot of bad films.

YouTube screenshot of
Bruce Willis in “Die Hard”

At what point does an actor give up on his craft? Willis is just rehashing the same character over and over only the storylines get weaker with each film.

Liam Neeson is right behind Bruce. Another great actor playing the same role in every film.

My favorite Bruce Willis film is not any of his Die Hard movies. Mine is Tears of the Sun. It’s one of those films I never get tired of watching.

Filing for unemployment is a drag. Once you find all the official documents, they want you to show proof of, you must log in and wait your turn for a video call to prove you are who you claim to be. You immediately get notified there is a long wait due to high caller volume and then a wait time appears on screen. Two hour wait times are not unusual.

It seems to me the unemployment department has a lack of employees to handle the workload. If only they had access to a list of unemployed workers who need a job.

This is another example why many of us have so little faith in government.

Claudia Gestro at SoFi Stadium
(Claudia Gestro)

Get rid of the Super Bowl in southern California. Whenever there is a world showcase winter event in Los Angeles, the two-thirds of the nation freezing their asses off see perfectly sunny southern California and think what a swell place it would be to move to. Don’t be fooled. It’s like everything else out here — fake.

A few reminders to those thinking of moving here. We have earthquakes, Santa Ana winds, fires, traffic, crime, and the highest housing cost in the country. We have more taxes than we have citizens, and we are up to 40 million people who live here.  Our beaches have sewage spilling in the ocean, sharks eat one or two people a year, and no one knows how to use a turn signal. We also have homeless people, illegal citizens, and Democrats everywhere you look. Our schools are overcrowded and underfunded, no one serves time for crimes now that our prisons can’t hold any more folks and forget about finding a parking place.

I am only thinking of my own wellbeing in the above thought.

Move to Texas. Please, just stay the hell out of California and let me enjoy what I have here.

Americans don’t like the shoe on the other foot when it comes to sports. American born Eileen Gu won gold in China but not as a member of the U.S. team. Instead, she won it as a member of China’s team. The 18-year-old will return to America and attend Stanford while raking in endorsement money from Chinese companies. She is viewed as a sellout by many Americans who think she took the easy path to Olympic gold. All she did was the reverse of what countless athletes do in representing our nation. She must be smart. Not only is she going to Stanford, but she also knows how to win gold without having to earn a spot on our team.

Dual citizenship has given our men’s soccer team a great shot at qualifying for the next World Cup. Check and see who some of the top American distance runners are and where they came from before calling out Gu.

A final thought on Gu. To represent China, you are supposed to only have Chinese citizenship. If Gu did renounce her U.S. citizenship, she needs to pay the same tuition fees other international students pay to attend Stanford. Of course, she is smart enough to know her Chinese endorsements will cover that cost.

Too much is made of the Olympics and how our athletes perform. Admit it, you don’t follow bobsledding, curling, or ski jumping unless it’s the Olympics. Biathlon, women’s hockey, or figure skating matter about as much to us as how the Chinese government treats its people.

Howard Stern, Jon Stewart, and Bill Maher are mostly loved or hated depending on what comes out of their mouths. What they say about people like Joe Rogan or Whoopi Goldberg, or about topics like COVID or politics are worth considering, but like many things, given entirely too much weight by the media.

Super Bowl LVI SoFi Stadium
(Claudia Gestro)

Stern is a fearless interviewer who knows how to get guests to talk about things that most interviewers would never dare approach. He comes across as smart without being pious or obnoxious when he delves into the deeper and darker aspects of guests’ lives.

On the other hand, Maher comes across as a dick who thinks he knows better than the rest of us. I say this even though I often agree with his take on things. Stern talks to his guests while Maher talks down to the audience.

Not everything has to be serious. I always enjoy when a talk show host sits and just chats with a guest about shared experiences. It’s like being a fly on a wall.

Oprah’s interviews have always come across as rehearsed for more dramatic effect.

I related to Kramer when he took home the set from the Merv Griffin show. I think I would have done the same. Imagine having a man cave set up as the set from your favorite talk show.

If you do not think the NFL is wrong and they have been fair in their hiring practices of minorities, why did teams suddenly begin hiring minority coaches after Brian Flores filed his lawsuit and not beforehand?

It’s February 11th and the time is 5:30 in the morning. Why the hell is it 71 degrees outside?

Today is trash day, so I feel confident predicting the wind will be howling. It’s like washing your car knowing if you do it will rain. There will be trash and trash cans blown all over the neighborhood.

That said, I feel just as confident predicting I will never get into plogging.

California Sea Lions, La Jolla, CA
(Tim Forkes)

Here is an idea. Since my state is parched, why not everyone go wash their cars today? Maybe it will ensure we get a much-needed dumping from Mother Nature?

I hardly ever wash my car. Instead, on days when the morning air is damp and our cars are covered with moisture, I go out early and wipe off the water which removes the dirt in the process. I’ll be damned if I take my car to a car wash.

I also won’t pay to get a haircut. I buzz mine down every month with a set of trimmers. I don’t care how stupid my hair looks; I can cover up my mistakes with a baseball cap.

Saving money on car washes and haircuts has not come close to making up the difference on the money I have spent on bikes or running shoes. I just tell myself it has.

I will spare no expense on a good t-shirt or work pants at my local Goodwill. Those half price senior days have yielded me some new (ok, maybe mostly new) t-shirts for a dollar and a quarter. If I get the shirt home and it doesn’t fit or look good, I can always use it to wipe down the cars the next day. They also make great pillow covers for the dogs’ beds.

In case you were not aware, I am cheap.

I may sign up for a swim pass at a nearby pool. I may have reached that point in life where I need to swim laps for exercise hoping it doesn’t destroy my body further. The big thing holding me back is my neck. Turning my head so I can take a breath may not be the best thing for it. Is it okay to wear a snorkel mask and snorkel while swimming laps so I don’t have to turn my head?

Jumbo at the Crypto.com Arena
(Claudia Gestro)

It’s time to move on if you are the Lakers. With the NBA trade deadline, there have been plenty of articles about who the Lakers should have traded to help LeBron win another title. The best trade they can make is to trade James. There is no amount of assets the Lakers can get to build a winner around him this year.

While they are at it, the Lakers may want to trade Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Anthony Davis since they are the remaining pieces that keep hobbling up and down the court. James can and will leave at season’s end so why not see who might want to rent the Laker stars for the rest of the season. That ought to yield them enough quality draft choices to start building a winner.

I remember the good old days when the day after the Super Bowl people talked about the commercials. Now they’re leaked beforehand on social media which leaves us with nothing to talk about the following day. It’s like opening your Christmas presents early to see what you got.

My suggestion for Super Bowl halftime entertainment would be a duet featuring Snoop Dog and a hologram of Anita Bryant. Such a performance could usher in a new musical award; a halogrammy.

I bit the bullet today and waited an hour and twelve minutes for my video call for unemployment verification. Two minutes into it, I was disconnected and sent back to the end of the wait line which was an hour and twenty-seven minutes. Can I assign a next of kin in case I die before receiving my money?

Former Dodgers 1B Albert Pujols was
the ultimate DH (Claudia Gestro)

Universal DH is coming to both leagues in baseball this year. Oh boy, another job opening for 15 guys who can hit but can’t field.

Bob Gibson’s 1968 ERA of 1.12 will never be broken as long as the DH is used by both leagues.

I do not agree with the recent ruling by the NCAA allowing a transgender Penn swimmer to continue swimming for her school’s team. Even her teammates think she has an unfair advantage and many of them feel she should be banned from competition, especially considering she competed on the school’s men’s team for three years before transitioning.

The NCAA allows any woman to compete in a sport with a testosterone level 5 times over the normal 1:1 ratio. Allowing a transgender athlete to compete with women will just result in more females feeling they need to take PED’s to level the playing field or decide it is not worth competing against people with an unfair advantage.

By the way, I can respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling and not be transphobic. In a perfect world, there would be enough trans students at every university to field athletic teams. For now, such is not the case. I do not have a solution to the problem, but I do know upping the acceptable testosterone levels for female athletes to five times above the normal female ratio is not the answer.

Male athletes are also allowed to have testosterone levels five times higher than the normal ratio. Thanks to advances in micro dosing, most professional athletes can take PED’s and get away with it while the rest of us mortals are left dragging our asses out of bed every morning and hoping a strong cup of coffee jumps starts us for the day.

I am sure Trump has an answer for why official presidential records ended up at his hotel in Mar-A-Lago instead of the National Archives where they belonged. I am also certain that his answer is a total fabrication.

Is it just me, or have others read the same headline for over two weeks about Russia being ready to invade Ukraine any day now?  Maybe we just need a bunch of pissed off truckers to block the Russian/Ukraine border to prevent an invasion.*

Now that I no longer subscribe to a newspaper and my favorite sports sites charge monthly fees to view their content, I have stopped being flooded with Super Bowl stories. It’s a good reminder why I prefer being cheap.

I am pretty sure the last time I watched ESPN, George W Bush was president. The same goes for the NFL channel. I always enjoyed watching Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson cover the NBA. However, what’s the point of watching them when I end up turning off the television as soon as the game comes on?

Golden State Warriors Point Guard
Steph Curry (Claudia Gestro)

Has the NBA All-Star game been played yet?**

What month is March Madness this year?

Watching the Super Bowl made me realize just how worn down I am. I couldn’t even muster the energy to hate L.A.

Wayne’s World is thirty years old. Drink your fiber and party on.

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Editor’s note I: The Russians, led by Vlad Putin, have begun their invasion of Ukraine. He wants to restore the old Russian empire of the Czars.
Editor’s note II: The NBA All-Star Weekend just ended. Team LeBron defeated Team Durant 163-160. The Cleveland team of Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Darius Garland won the Skills challenge, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves won the 3-Point Challenge and Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks won the Slam Dunk Contest.
Editor’s Note III: March Madness beings March 13 and ends April 4.